Fake Research Papers Published Mostly Gibberish

fake research papersOver 100 published fake research papers have been removed from subscription services for two large scientific publishers. Springer and IEEE have removed these papers after a French researcher discovered that they were computer-generated gibberish.

During the last two years, Cyril Labbe, a French computer scientist, has been cataloging computer-generated fake research papers that had made it to more than 30 different published conference proceedings between the years 2008 and 2013. More than a hundred of these papers had been published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineer (IEEE) located in New York. Around twenty of the papers had also been published by Springer located in Germany.

One of the papers was actually published as a proceeding from the International Conference on Quality, Reliability, Risk, Maintenance and Safety Engineering in Chengdu, China. The website for the conference claims that all papers are “reviewed for merits and contents.”  Most of the papers are in the fields of computer science and math.One of the titles; “An Evaluation of E-Business with Fin” is a good example of just how much of it is gibberish.

The questions is how did over 120 fake research papers filled with mostly gibberish get published to begin with? Labbe says it is due to scientists under intense pressure to produce that leads to these papers. However, he can’t explain how they end up getting published. He says that all such papers should be evaluated by “peer-review” and even though he can not explain how they got published he does think that each one merits a full investigation.

Even the publishers can not explain how or why the papers were published. They stated that they are in the process of investigation and “taking the papers down as quickly as possible.” A spokesman for Springer said it would take some time to complete the task since they publish over 2,000 journals and 8,000 books every year.

Labbe’s mission was to find fake research papers and, ironically enough, has even published a paper in Springer on how to find computer-generated research papers. He as also constructed a website that can detect whether or not a paper has been computer-generated. He says that the site is very efficient in its job and can even detect duplicates and plagiarisms.

Some professors say that since their salaries are dependent on the number of research papers they produce it can lead to some creating fake documents. Most schools have a merit score system for their professors that is affected by the professor’s success in publishing research papers.

This is not the first time a fake research paper has been published either. In 1996 a physics professor submitted a report to a philosophy journal arguing that gravity is “postmodern” since it is “free from dependence on the concept of truth.” The professor wrote is has a test in satire, however, it was accepted and published in the magazine Social Text.

Thousands of research papers are published every year by hundreds of scientists all over the globe. In today’s high demand world it is possible that some would be tempted to cheat and use computer-generated fake research papers to get a leg up on the competition. Even if those papers are mostly gibberish.

By Adam Stier


International Business Times
Scientific American
FOX News

5 Responses to "Fake Research Papers Published Mostly Gibberish"

  1. dorde dokanovic   March 2, 2014 at 6:39 am

    It just sounds like a lot of the ones actually producing fake papers are commenting this article. This is a serious science problem for decades, eroding education in high schools, colleges is direct consequence of the “money education” we live in. The only thing is to make more money. Like for instance you have a art schools in Philadelphia – like 10 different ones, 2/3 of graduates are working in restaurants after graduating! Attracting students with phony promises, draining their money for the “career” that never will make them living, not to even mention quality of the classes they are getting. Bottom of the this is every basketball player is college graduate – and all of us know that he barely any of them can tell you value of Pi – for instance! Push money in front of everything – get this fabulous school system.

  2. Jeff B   March 2, 2014 at 3:39 am

    This is what happens when you put profit before integrity.

  3. RoseFlorida   March 2, 2014 at 3:10 am

    There appears to be an assumption that these phony research papers are created in order to beef up credentials; plain old fraud. It seems more likely that the people producing them have the same mentality as writers of computer viruses or those who like to brag about hacking computer systems.

  4. Mark   March 2, 2014 at 12:06 am

    Yeah well Jeff…. one dishonest act is one too many. In a world where deceit and corruption is a way of life, trivializing this will only serve one purpose.

  5. Jeff   March 1, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    These papers were NEVER PUBLISHED…..they made it into “30 different published conference proceedings”…… What this means is that the title, and possibly the abstract, of the paper made it into the program of a conference. Then the “author” supposedly presented at that conference. If the author didn’t write the paper, they are going to give a very bad presentation and people in attendance will take them for the joke that they are. There are hundreds of thousands of academics in the country…. of course there are going to be a few hacks. This is true of all humans, all professions. This is a non-story if there ever was one. Considering the Tens of thousands of research papers being presented at conferences every year, the fact that they only found 120 papers makes it negligeble. There is also a HUGE difference between having the title of your paper printed in conference program, and having your paper actually accepted by a peer reviewed journal. There is no way that any reputable journal would accept one of these articles. There are too many steps to go through to get your paper published. Too many people have to read it. There are multiple revisions and editing sessions required. That’s how science works. It’s self-correcting. What this article is claiming is about as newsworth as saying, “We found 120 teachers (out of 7.2 million) in the country that took pencils and pens and paper for their own personal use out of the supply cabinet at their school”.


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